Western Animation: Bugs Bunny
"Some people call me cocky and brash, but actually I am just self-assured. I'm nonchalant, imperturbable, contemplative. I play it cool, but I can get hot under the collar. And above all I'm a very 'aware' character. I'm well aware that I am appearing in an animated cartoon....And sometimes I chomp on my carrot for the same reason that a stand-up comic chomps on his cigar. It saves me from rushing from the last joke to the next one too fast. And I sometimes don't act, I react. And I always treat the contest with my pursuers as 'fun and games.' When momentarily I appear to be cornered or in dire danger and I scream, don't be consoined [sic] – it's actually a big put-on. Let's face it Doc. I've read the script and I already know how it turns out."Bugs Bunny
is the modern American Trickster
and the most famous star of the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies
cartoons. This character as Funny Animal
is found in many cultures' mythologies, including Reynard the Fox, Anansi the spider, American Indian spirit Coyote, and Bugs' great-grandfather, Br'er Rabbit
. Bugs is specifically a Karmic Trickster
: harmless when left alone, but gleefully ready to dish out poetic justice whenever he perceives the need. There is an element of education in his revenge.
Like many of his peers, Bugs' origins are unclear, lost in the mists of time and memory. Before him, the Marx Brothers
were the premier American tricksters, and traces of their influence can be found in many of his best known mannerisms. (In fact, many people aren't aware
that Bugs' saying, "Of course you realize, dis
" originated in films such as Duck Soup
and A Night at the Opera
More directly, shy, timid prey unexpectedly turning on the pursuer was a common theme at the Warner Bros.
animation studios in the early days - Daffy Duck
made his debut in the same way. Director Ben 'Bugs' Hardaway introduced the notion of this character as a "scwewy wabbit" in "Porky's Hare Hunt" (1938), and the same small white hare appears in various later shorts, notably Chuck Jones' "Elmer's Candid Camera
" (1940). His name, first seen on-screen in the credits for 1941's "Elmer's Pet Rabbit", derives either from Hardaway's — model sheets were said to have been tagged with "Bugs' Bunny" — or the contemporary Brooklyn slang "bugs", meaning "crazy". Or both. Tex Avery
, Friz Freleng
, as well as Robert Givens, however, adamantly insist that Hardaway's Bugs was a completely separate character from the Bugs we know and love, that the name and species is all he shares in common with the real Bugs.
However it's generally accepted that Tex Avery
produced the prototype of the smart, suave, on-the-ball wabbit we know and love today, in "A Wild Hare
" (1940). Chuck Jones
later made him more sympathetic by giving Bugs that iconic attitude of live-and-let-live, right up until he's pushed just that one step too far
, and then, it's war — "at which point [he] retaliates in every way he can imagine, and he is a very imaginative rabbit."
The job of any trickster, but especially the American type, is to think the thoughts and do the things that they say can't be thought or done. He's most likely to be found disturbing the complacency of his culture, or deflating the pompousness of its symbols. Since Bugs is also a comedy hero, he has the added advantage of Plot Armor
that could stop an armor-piercing round.
His influence on modern American culture, like that of all the Looney Tunes
characters, has been far-reaching to the point of ubiquity. For obvious reasons, though, Bugs is the especial favourite, especially in the theatrical years, getting more shorts than any of his co-stars, with a impressive 168 titles under his beltnote
. Naturally, he has spawned several imitators over the years, notably direct descendant Buster Bunny of Tiny Toon Adventures
and Yakko, Wakko and Dot of Animaniacs
— although these last three skew more heavily toward the Screwy Squirrel
Bugs is currently making appearances in The Looney Tunes Show
, having given up his nomadic roots and rabbit holes in favor of an average suburb, shared with co-star Daffy Duck
. In 2015, a new series starring Bugs—Wabbit: A Looney Tunes Production
—will debut on Cartoon Network.
Naturally, Bugs has starred in many a hit short subject, with six of his cartoons being put on The 50 Greatest Cartoons
(with Whats Opera Doc
at the No. 1 spot!) and 10 of his shorts serving as runner-ups on the list. He also holds a whopping 34 spots on The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes
list (not counting shorts he cameoed in).
- Porky's Hare Hunt (LT, Hardaway): First appearance of the Bugs Bunny prototype. Here, he is a tiny, pudgy white rabbit with a Goofy-esque rural accent, who, in Ben Hardaway's words, was "Daffy Duck in a rabbit suit." Naturally, this prototype is far, far removed from the Bugs we know and love, being a mindless heckler, but with a touch of Groucho Marx thrown into the mixing pot, so this character at the least provided a foundation for the character of the Bugs we know. This prototype is also very similar to the earliest incarnations of Woody Woodpecker, who Ben Hardaway also helped write for.
- Prest-O Change-O (MM, Jones): Second sighting of the prototype, who has taken up residence in the house of the magician Sham-Fu, and heckles the poor pups who he encounters for no discernible motive. He has become slightly taller and slimmer at this point. Bugs' trademark ability to have objects come out of nowhere is presented here for the first time, although in the context of him being a magician's rabbit. The prototype is silent here, save for his Annoying Laugh. Public Domain.
- Hare-Um Scare-um (MM, Hardaway/Dalton): Where Bugs is officially named as Bugs' Bunny—note the possessive term (applied to the model sheet prepared by Charles Thorson). He is still manic, but has now grown in size and sprouted apricot fur, looking closer to the Bugs we know. His Hammer Space ability is revisited, now presented in a non-magical context. He also hams it up with some sarcastic mock-pathos, which would be echoed in A Wild Hare and The Wabbit Who Came To Supper. This short is also infamous for having a lost ending that was cut out of most original prints, but has been found and included in Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Vol. 2.
- Elmer's Candid Camera (MM, Jones): Debut of Elmer Fudd. Bugs is almost fully realized as a character by this point, with his original Screwy Squirrel traits played down in favor of being more reserved and in control than before, but his character is still very underplayed. With that said, he still has some of his unmotivated heckler self left in him, pestering poor Elmer (who was just taking pictures) to the point where he has a nervous breakdown. Chuck Jones was not happy with this short, saying the rabbit was "Bugs with his umbilical cord in his hand looking for a place to plug it in." and that it should only be watched "If you are dying to die of innui."
- A Wild Hare (MM, Avery) - Starring Elmer. Official debut of the fully realized Bugs Bunny. This short is a semi-remake of "Elmer's Candid Camera", but improves in what Tex Avery felt was flawed about "Camera"—such as only making Bugs a defensive character who reacts to a threat and plays off of villainous Elmer's stupidity. Oscar nominee. One of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
- Patient Porky (LT, Clampett): The prototype pops up for a gag in the first couple minutes, looking very close to Bugs' final design, but still having the manicness of the proto-Bugs.
- Elmer's Pet Rabbit (MM, Jones): Chuck Jones' first short with Bugs, and the first one to actually give his name. In this short he has an extremely foul temper and a nasty personality, both of which were hurriedly dropped afterwards. He also had a distinctly different voice in this short, sounding more like a yokel than the New York accent that he would be famous for (and which was previously introduced in "A Wild Hare").
- Tortoise Beats Hare (MM, Avery): The first of the three "Bugs Vs. Cecil" shorts. Chuck Jones, in his opinion, considered it a failure, feeling that Tex had swapped Bugs' in-control, defensive personality in favor of making him the loser ala Elmer Fudd while giving Cecil Turtle Bugs' personality (but with all fairness, it did show us a whole different side of Bugs than before).
- Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt (MM, Freleng): Friz Freleng's first effort with Bugs. Here, he is presented as rather passive, at least in contrast with the previous shorts. Oscar nominee.
- The Heckling Hare (MM, Avery): The cartoon that caused Avery to leave Leon's cartoon studio to make cartoons for MGM. With that said, Avery finally managed to nail Bugs' defensive personality again, capturing what made him such a hit in "A Wild Hare".
- All This and Rabbit Stew (MM, Avery, uncredited): One of the "Censored Eleven" Public Domain.
- Wabbit Twouble (MM, Cwampett) - Starring the Fat Elmer. Bob Clampett's first Bugs Bunny. It is rumored that this cartoon was started by Tex Avery but finished by Clampett, backed up by the fact that Tex and Bob planned it together early on. Here, Bugs goes right back to being a Villain Protagonist, pestering poor Elmer (solely because he set up camp in Bugs' territory). But wheras the earlier Bugs were fairly aggressive in their pestering, Clampett presents Bugs as going about it in a more playful, confident way, as if a nod to that Bugs knows exactly what he's doing, so in a sense, he's certainly not too Out of Character here. One of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes. Public Domain.
- The Wabbit Who Came to Supper (MM, Freleng) - Starring the Fat Elmer. Again, Bugs is more defensive here than usual, but his in-control persona still kicks up, manipulating Elmer into caring for him. Public Domain.
- The Wacky Wabbit (MM, Clampett) - Starring the Fat Elmer. Again, Bugs is a Villain Protagonist, but is still very playful. Public Domain.
- Hold the Lion, Please (MM, Jones): A very bizarre take on the Bugs Bunny shorts, with Bugs having his vague personality, but little of what made him so popular in previous shorts, a clear testament to that Jones still didn't have a full grasp of his character.
- Bugs Bunny Gets The Boid (MM, Clampett): Debut of Beaky/Killer the Buzzard. Unlike Clampett's previous shorts, Bugs is back to being a defensive character again. Runner-up on The 50 Greatest Cartoons list, and one of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
- Fresh Hare (MM, Freleng) - Starring Elmer. Freleng presents Bugs as a defensive Villain Protagonist, on the run of Mountie Elmer Fudd in the Canadian wilderness. Public Domain.
- The Hare-Brained Hypnotist (MM, Freleng) - Starring Elmer. Public Domain.
- Case of the Missing Hare (MM, Jones): Jones finally nails Bugs' character here.Public Domain.
- Crazy Cruise (MM, Avery/Clampett, both uncredited): Not a Bugs Bunny cartoon, but he does make a cameo in the ending.
- Any Bonds Today? (AKA Bugs Bunny Bond Rally, Clampett): A very brief bumper short made to promote War Bonds. With Elmer and Porky. Public Domain.
- A Corny Concerto (MM, Clampett): Technically not a Bugs Bunny cartoon, but he does appear and has a major role in it. One of The 50 Greatest Cartoons, and one of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes. Public Domain.
- Porky Pig's Feat (LT, Tashlin): Makes a cameo in the ending. One of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes. Public Domain.
- Tortoise Wins By A Hare (MM, Clampett): The second of the "Bugs Vs. Cecil" trilogy. Here, Bugs is at the epitome of his Villain Protagonist phase, presented as a bombastic, egotistical maniac displaying outright malacious tendecies that we rarely, if ever, see Bugs fall into. One of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
- Super-Rabbit (MM, Jones): A parody of Max Fleischer's Superman Theatrical Cartoons. After the release of Tortoise Wins by a Hare, it's startling to see Bugs revert back to being a defensive character again.
- Jack-Wabbit and the Beanstalk (MM, Freleng)
- Wackiki Wabbit (MM, Jones) Public Domain.
- Falling Hare (MM, Clampett): A famous Wartime Cartoon, featuring Bugs and his encounter with a pesky Gremlin. One of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.Public Domain.
- Jasper Goes Hunting: Actually a Puppetoons short from Paramount Pictures, but Bugs makes a cameo in it.
- Little Red Riding Rabbit (MM, Freleng): One of The 50 Greatest Cartoons, one of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
- What's Cookin' Doc? (MM, Clampett). Bugsy is presented as a very showboaty ham in this short. Clampett alledgedly make this short to make fun of Friz Freleng, possibly for his previous effort "Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt", being snubbed for an Oscar. Features large usage of Stock Footage from "Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt", although it's in the context of the story and not a mere corner cutting move.
- Bugs Bunny and the Three Bears (MM, Jones): The debut of Jones' Three Bears characters. Runner-up on The 50 Greatest Cartoons.
- Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips (MM, Freleng): An infamous Wartime Cartoon featuring Bugs encountering an Asian Platoon on a deserted isle. Not screened on TV.
- Hare Ribbin' (MM, Clampett): Clampett once again presents Bugs as a defensive character here. The short is notable for having an infamous alternate ending, in which Bugs himself guns down the dog that was chasing him! This "Directors Cut" can be found on the fifth Looney Tunes Golden Collection. This short also features Stock Footage from "The Heckling Hare" and "A Wild Hare".
- Hare Force (MM, Freleng)
- Buckaroo Bugs (LT, Clampett): The only Bugs cartoon where he is explicitly presented as a straight villain role.
- The Old Grey Hare (MM, Clampett) - Starring Elmer. This is a bizarre cartoon that delves into the chemistry between Bugs and Elmer. Runner-up on The 50 Greatest Cartoons, one of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
- Stage Door Cartoon (MM, Freleng) - Starring Elmer.
- Odor-Able Kitty (LT, Jones): Bugs himself does not appear, but the cat disguises himself in a Bugs Bunny outfit.
- Herr Meets Hare (MM, Freleng): A Wartime Cartoon. Notable for having a gag that would be recycled for Whats Opera Doc. Also notable for being the first time Bugs is seen tunneling underground as a mode of transportation(and the first time he makes that Wrong Turn at Albuquerque).
- The Unruly Hare (MM, Tashlin) - Starring Elmer. First of two Bugs shorts directed by Frank Tashlin.
- Hare Trigger (MM, Freleng) - Debut of Yosemite Sam.
- Hare Conditioned (LT, Jones)
- Hare Tonic (LT, Jones) - Starring Elmer.
- "Baseball Bugs" (LT, Freleng): Runner-up on The 50 Greatest Cartoons, one of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
- Hare Remover (MM, Tashlin, uncredited) - Starring Elmer. Second of two Frank Tashlin directed shorts.
- Hair-Raising Hare (MM, Jones): One of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
- Acrobatty Bunny (LT, McKimson): Robert McKimson's first Bugs short. One of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
- Racketeer Rabbit (LT, Freleng) - Starring Rocky and Hugo (cariactured of Edward G. Robinson and Peter Lorre).
- The Big Snooze (LT, Clampett) - Starring Elmer. Last Bugs cartoon that Clampett directed, and the last of his cartoons that was released. Runner-up on The 50 Greatest Cartoons list, one of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
- Rhapsody Rabbit (MM, Freleng): Infamous for its conspicuous similarity to the Tom and Jerry short The Cat Concerto, although Freleng insisted that it was a complete coincidence. Despite this, Rhapsody Rabbit is a runner-up on The 50 Greatest Cartoons list, and one of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes. Also the first cartoon to ever air on Cartoon Network.
- Gorilla My Dreams (LT, McKimson): One of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
- A Feather in His Hare (LT, Jones) - No longer shown on TV.
- Rabbit Punch (MM, Jones)
- Buccaneer Bunny (LT, Freleng) - Starring Sam. One of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
- Bugs Bunny Rides Again (MM, Freleng) - Starring Sam.
- Haredevil Hare (LT, Jones) - Debut of Marvin the Martian. One of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
- Hot Cross Bunny (MM, McKimson)
- Hare Splitter (MM, Freleng)
- A-Lad-In His Lamp (LT, McKimson) - with Smokey the Genie (voice of Jim Backus).
- My Bunny Lies over the Sea (MM, Jones)
- Hare Do (MM, Freleng) - Starring Elmer.
- Mississippi Hare (LT, Jones) - Staring Colonel.
- Rebel Rabbit (MM, McKimson)
- High Diving Hare (LT, Freleng) - Starring Sam. One of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
- Bowery Bugs (MM, Davis) - the only Bugs cartoon Arthur Davis would direct.
- Long-Haired Hare (LT, Jones): One of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
- Knights Must Fall (MM, Freleng)
- The Grey Hounded Hare (LT, McKimson)
- The Windblown Hare (LT, McKimson)
- Frigid Hare (MM, Jones) - First of two shorts to star Playboy Penguin.
- Which Is Witch (LT, Freleng) - No longer screened on TV.
- Rabbit Hood (MM, Jones)
- The Lion's Busy (MM, Freleng) - Cameo; a Beaky Buzzard cartoon.
- Hurdy-Gurdy Hare (MM, McKimson)
- Mutiny on the Bunny (LT, Freleng) - Starring Sam.
- Homeless Hare (MM, Jones)
- Big House Bunny (LT, Freleng) - Starring Sam.
- What's Up Doc? (LT, McKimson) - Starring Elmer. With caricatures of Eddie Cantor, Jack Benny, Al Jolson and Bing Crosby.
- 8 Ball Bunny (LT, Jones) - Second and last appearance of Playboy Penguin, and features a caricature of Humphrey Bogart. One of the rare times where Bugs becomes something of a Butt Monkey. One of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
- Hillbilly Hare (MM, McKimson): One of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
- Bunker Hill Bunny (MM, Freleng) - Starring Sam.
- Bushy Hare (LT, McKimson)
- Rabbit of Seville (LT, Jones) - Starring Elmer. One of The 50 Greatest Cartoons, one of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
- Hare We Go (MM, McKimson) - with an unreasonable facsimile of Christopher Columbus.
- Rabbit Every Monday (LT, Freleng) - Starring Sam.
- Bunny Hugged (MM, Jones): One of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
- The Fair-Haired Hare (LT, Freleng) - Starring Sam.
- Rabbit Fire (LT, Jones) - Starring Elmer and Daffy. First of the "Duck Season, Rabbit Season" trilogy. One of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
- French Rarebit (MM, McKimson)
- His Hare-Raising Tale (LT, Freleng) - with clips from "Stage Door Cartoon," "Baseball Bugs" and "Haredevil Hare."
- Ballot Box Bunny (MM, Freleng) - Starring Sam.
- Big Top Bunny (MM, McKimson)
- Operation: Rabbit (LT, Jones) - Starring Wile E. Coyote. One of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
- Foxy by Proxy (MM, Freleng)
- 14 Carrot Rabbit (LT, Freleng) - Starring Sam.
- Water, Water Every Hare (LT, Jones)
- The Hasty Hare (LT, Jones) - Starring Marvin. Features a caricature of Friz Freleng as an astronomer.
- Oily Hare (MM, McKimson)
- Rabbit Seasoning (MM, Jones) - Starring Elmer and Daffy. Second of the "Duck Season, Rabbit Season" trilogy. One of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
- Rabbit's Kin (MM, McKimson) - with Pete Puma (voice of Stan Freberg).
- Hare Lift (LT, Freleng) - Starring Sam.
- Duck Amuck (MM, Jones) - A Daffy Duck cartoon, but ol' Bugsy is the driving forced behind the events of it. One of The 50 Greatest Cartoons, and one of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
- Forward March Hare (LT, Jones)
- Upswept Hare (MM, McKimson) - Starring Elmer.
- Southern Fried Rabbit (LT, Freleng) - Starring Sam.
- Hare Trimmed (MM, Freleng) - Starring Sam and Granny from the Tweety and Sylvester series.
- Bully for Bugs (LT, Jones) - The cartoon Jones made because Edward Selzer told him not to. One of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
- Duck! Rabbit, Duck! (MM, Jones) - Starring Elmer and Daffy. Third of the "Duck Season, Rabbit Season" trilogy. One of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
- Robot Rabbit (LT, Freleng) - Starring Elmer.
- Captain Hareblower (MM, Freleng) - Starring Sam.
- Bugs and Thugs (LT, Freleng) - Starring Rocky and Mugsy. One of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
- No Parking Hare (LT, McKimson)
- Devil May Hare (LT, McKimson) - Starring Taz.
- Bewitched Bunny (LT, Jones) - Starring Hazel.
- Yankee Doodle Bugs (LT, Freleng)
- Lumber Jack-Rabbit (LT, Jones) - the only 3-D cartoon from the studio.
- Baby Buggy Bunny (MM, Jones)
- Beanstalk Bunny (MM, Jones) - Starring Elmer and Daffy.
- Sahara Hare (LT, Freleng) - Starring Sam.
- Hare Brush (MM, Freleng) - Starring Elmer.
- Rabbit Rampage (LT, Jones) - Cameo by Elmer. A sequel to "Duck Amuck".
- This Is a Life? (MM, Freleng) - Starring Sam, Elmer, and Daffy. With clips from "Hare Do" and "Buccaneer Bunny."
- Hyde and Hare (LT, Freleng)
- Knight-mare Hare (MM, Jones)
- Roman Legion-Hare (LT, Freleng) - Starring Sam.
- Bugs' Bonnets (MM, Jones) - Starring Elmer.
- Broom-Stick Bunny (LT, Jones) - Starring Hazel.
- Rabbitson Crusoe (LT, Freleng) - Starring Sam.
- Napoleon Bunny-Part (MM, Freleng)
- Barbary Coast Bunny (LT, Jones) - Only Bugs and Nasty Canasta cartoon.
- Half-Fare Hare (MM, McKimson) - with caricatures of Jackie Gleason and Art Carney as Ralph Cramden and Ed Norton.
- A Star Is Bored (LT, Freleng) - Starring Sam, Elmer, and Daffy.
- Wideo Wabbit (MM, McKimson) - Starring Elmer.
- To Hare Is Human (MM, Jones) - Starring Wile E.
- Hare-Less Wolf (MM, Freleng)
- Hare-Way to the Stars (LT, Jones) - Starring Marvin.
- Now Hare This (LT, McKimson)
- Knighty Knight Bugs (LT, Freleng) - Academy Award winner for Best Animated Short Film, starring Sam. Surprisingly, this is the ONLY Bugs cartoon to have won an oscar!
- Pre-Hysterical Hare (LT, McKimson) - Starring Elmer.
- Baton Bunny (LT, Jones/Levitow)
- Hare-Abian Nights (MM, Harris) - Starring Sam.
- Apes of Wrath (MM, Freleng) - Cameo by Daffy.
- Backwoods Bunny (MM, McKimson)
- Wild and Woolly Hare (LT, Freleng) - Starring Sam.
- Bonanza Bunny (MM, McKimson)
- A Witch's Tangled Hare (LT, Levitow) - Starring Hazel.
- People Are Bunny (MM, McKimson) - Starring Daffy and caricature of Art Linkletter.
- Horse Hare (LT, Freleng) - Starring Sam.
- Person To Bunny (MM, Freleng) - Starring Elmer and Daffy.
- Rabbit's Feat (LT, Jones) - Starring Wile E. Coyote.
- From Hare to Heir (MM, Freleng) - Starring Sam.
- Lighter Than Hare (MM, Freleng) - Starring Sam.
- The Abominable Snow Rabbit (LT, Jones; co-dir.: Noble) - Starring Daffy.
- Compressed Hare (MM, Jones; co-dir.: Noble) - Starring Wile E.
- Prince Violent (LT, Freleng; co-dir.: Pratt) - Later renamed Prince Varmint for television broadcasts. Starring Sam.
- Wet Hare (LT, McKimson)
- Bill of Hare (MM, McKimson) - Starring Taz.
- Shishkabugs (LT, Freleng) - Starring Sam.
- Devil's Feud Cake (MM, Freleng) - Starring Sam. With clips from "Hare Lift," "Roman Legion Hare" and "Sahara Hare."
- The Million Hare (LT, McKimson) - Starring Daffy.
- Hare-Breadth Hurry (LT, Jones; co-dir.: Noble) - Starring Wile E.; actually a Road Runner cartoon, but Bugs fills in after RR "sprained a giblet making a sharp curve."
- The Unmentionables (MM, Freleng) - Starring Rocky and Mugsy.
- Mad as a Mars Hare (MM, Jones; co-dir.: Noble) - Starring Marvin.
- Transylvania 6-5000 (MM, Jones; co-dir.: Noble)
- Dumb Patrol (LT, Chiniquy) - Starring Porky and Sam.
- Dr. Devil and Mr. Hare (MM, McKimson) - Starring Taz.
- The Iceman Ducketh (LT, Monroe) - Starring Daffy.
- False Hare (LT, McKimson) - Last of the original theatrical Bugs Bunny cartoons.
- Box Office Bunny (1990, Van Citters) - Starring Elmer and Daffy.
- (blooper) Bunny! (1991, Lennon/Ford) - Starring Daffy, Elmer, and Sam. Never released until 1997.
- Invasion of the Bunny Snatchers (1992, Lennon/Ford) - Starring Daffy, Elmer, and Sam.
- Carrotblanca (1995, McCarthy) - Parody of Casablanca.
- From Hare to Eternity (1996, Jones) - Starring Sam.
- Hare and Loathing in Las Vegas (2003, Kopp/Shin) - Starring Sam.
Television specials with original material
- Bugs and Daffy's Carnival of the Animals (Jones, 1976) - A combination live-action/animation 23-minute special, featuring interpretations of Ogden Nash poems set to the music of Camille Saint-Saëns. Bugs's first appearance in original material since 1964.
- Bugs Bunny's Looney Christmas Tales (1979)
- Bugs Bunny's Christmas Carol (Freleng) - Starring Sam and Porky.
- The Fright Before Christmas (Freleng) - Starring Clyde and Taz.
- Bugs Bunny's Bustin' Out All Over (1980)
- Portrait of the Artist as a Young Bunny (Jones/Monroe) - Starring Elmer.
- Spaced Out Bunny (Jones/Monroe) - Starring Marvin and Hugo. Last short with Mel Blanc voicing Bugs.
Bugs Bunny (and his cartoons) have shown the following tropes:
- 100% Adoration Rating: In numerous cartoons and films, Bugs is depicted as universally beloved by his fans and audiences and can get big rounds of applause for anything he does, whereas Daffy has a 0% Approval Rating and is driven to insanity trying to get some respect himself.
- Absurdly Dedicated Worker: In "Southern Fried Rabbit", Bugs Bunny encounters Yosemite Sam as a Confederate soldier guarding the Mason-Dixon line eighty odd years after the end of the American Civil War. When informed of this fact, Sam replies "I ain't no clockwatcher!"
- The Ace: Bugs in his more modern depictions. Except when he's facing off with Cecil Turtle.
- He finally gets his revenge against Cecil in The Looney Tunes Show. While Bugs has mellowed down in the show, Cecil just becomes even more of a Jerkass.
- Acme Products: Bugs has made use of their services, with better results than Wile E. Coyote.
- Alliterative Name: Bugs Bunny.
- Always Someone Better: Bugs Bunny can outsmart anybody, except Cecil Turtle.
- He plays the opposite end of the role perfectly to the envious Daffy Duck however.
- There was also the one time he went up against a gremlin in an airfield in the short "Falling Hare". He was hopelessly outclassed.
- Aluminum Christmas Trees: Bugs' catchphrases and speech tics are actually based around the hip slang of the time (1940's) — but modern audiences assume they're unique to him.
- Angrish: Bugs just can't seem to put the hatred he feels for Cecil into words in Tortoise Beats the Hare.
Bugs: "You! You blankety blank blank turtle!"
- Ambiguously Jewish: The Brooklyn accent, among other things, but also subtle things, like having grown up playing Pisha-Paysha when challenged to a game of blackjack (by Blacque Jacques Shellacque in Bonanza Bunny).
- Mel Blanc (his voice actor) was in fact Jewish.
- American Accents: Mel Blanc gave his wascally wabbit a Brooklyn accent so distinctive, it's the standard to which actors strive for their own Brooklyn-based characters.
- Bugs's accent is actually a seamless blend of the Brooklyn and Bronx accents called Flatbush, after a community in the Brooklyn area where Mel had first heard it.
- America Saves the Day: The World War II propaganda chapters used this.
- And Call Him George: Bugs is nearly smothered (literally) with adoration by an Abominable Snowman. The Trope Namer.
- Anti-Hero: He may be the first fully-realized antihero in animation, coming right around the time Ideal Heroes like Mickey Mouse were falling out of favor. He goes from being a Heroic Comedic Sociopath to Karmic Trickster.
- Anvil on Head
- Animated Actors
- Arch-Enemy: Of all the characters Bugs goes up against, Elmer Fudd is probably the most frequent. Of course, Elmer is hopelessly outclassed...
- On the other hand, he's perhaps the most frequent to actually defeat Bugs (a total of three times, only Daffy has done so the same amount of times, and none of which were via the original theatrical shorts).
- A common myth; though the rivalry is iconic, there were actually comparatively few Bugs vs. Elmer shorts. Because Elmer is, as mentioned, hopelessly outclassed, it was a delicate dance to make sure Bugs didn't cross the line from merry prankster to outright bully (one they didn't always pull off so well). One of the reasons Yosemite Sam was created was to give Bugs an adversary who was smart enough (or, failing that, belligerent enough) that Bugs still looked like the good guy at the end of the cartoon.
- He was however still one of Bugs' most frequent enemies, only Yosemite Sam really challenges his total bouts against the rabbit, not to mention they consist of what many consider some of the most iconic Bugs shorts to date.
- Part of the reason Elmer gets this treatment is because he's the opponent that got a cartoon where he cleanly outdid Bugs - granted, he did so via role reversal (Elmer went crazy and believed himself to be Bugs; psychiatrists then kidnapped Bugs and convinced him that he was Elmer), but Elmer still came out on top.
- Cecil Turtle is not only 3-0 against Bugs, he beat Bugs at his own game. (Technically Bugs won the last one, but it was clearly a moral victory for Cecil.)
- Art Evolution: Very literal evolution — in the earliest shorts, Bugs looks like a rabbit that walks upright, compared to his modern appearance where he's essentially a human with bunny ears.
- Ash Face: Of course, occasions where he himself is a victim of this are quite rare. His antagonists on the other hand never fare as well.
- Attention Whore: Definitely has moments of this, especially in "What's Cookin', Doc?"
- Attractive Bent-Gender: One of Bugs' favorite ways to escape Elmer Fudd, and it always works. The ears or tail usually give him away, though.
- Badass Adorable: Could you calmly ask "Eeeeh, whatz up, doc?" with a shotgun up your nose?
- Badass Normal: See above.
- Beary Funny: "Bugs Bunny and the Three Bears".
- Beastly Bloodsports: "Bully for Bugs" has him facing off against a strong, fast and smart bull in a rather unconventional bullfight.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Most of the time, he's very cheerful and friendly, but if pushed far enough (usually by people who keep bullying, cheating or threatening him or others), he's more than happy to retaliate.
- Big Ball of Violence (i.e.: Case of the Missing Hare")
- Bizarre and Improbable Golf Game: "My Bunny Lies Over the Sea", in which Bugs competes with a Scotsman in a game of golf. Needless to say, the rabbit fudges the rules a bit, like digging a trench to lead the ball into the hole, for instance.
- Born in the Theatre
- Bowdlerise: Like all the Warners' animated output — indeed, that of all the major American studios during and just post-WWII — some of Bugs' shorts are not very politically correct. At the height of the Pacific campaign during the war, he starred in a blatant bit of propaganda called "Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips." He also appeared in Black Face on more than one occasion, including a short parody of Al Jolson's The Jazz Singer.
- Bratty Half-Pint / Broken Record: "I want an Easter egg! I want an Easter egg! I want an Easter egg! I want an Easter egg!"
- Baby Face Finster. Not a baby, just a midget bank robber in disguise.
- Breakout Character: Much like Donald Duck before him, Bugs' popularity ended up eclipsing his predecessors, Porky and Daffy. The difference however is that Bugs eventually became the face of the company.
- Broken Ace: While Bugs is usually the cunning protagonist, writers took care to balance this with the odd fall-guy role so as not to lose audience sympathy. In keeping with the character's cockiness, though, when Bugs was a loser he was often a very sore one.
- Brooklyn Rage: Do not make Bugs angry.
- Bullet Dancing: Subverted in "Bugs Bunny Rides Again," where Bugs breaks into a full-bore softshoe routine when Yosemite Sam tries this trope on him. Then Bugs yells "Take it, Sam!" and Sam does — straight into an open mine shaft.
- Crossover: Including Paramount's "Jasper Goes Hunting," Odradek's "Political Cartoon," Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue and Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
- Canada, Eh?: One of Bugs' lesser-known nemeses, Blacque Jacque Shellacque, who was basically a French-Canadian Yosemite Sam.
- Cartoon Conductor: In "Long-Haired Hare" and "Baton Bunny".
- Carnivore Confusion: In spite of being almost fully anthropomorphic, large chunks (perhaps even the majority) of Bugs' filmography are about hunters and other predators trying to kill and eat him.
- Elmer isn't a carnivore, he's a vegetawian, he only hunts for the sport of it, he he heh.
- Except the time he's bought Bugs at a butcher's shop to make stew.
- And, of course, it makes perfect sense for there to be a sport hunting season for characters who walk upright, speak English and have hands.
- Casual Danger Dialog: A trademark. His catch phrase even emerged as this, given Bugs' reaction to Elmer shoving a gun to his face was "What's up, Doc?"
- Catch Phrase:
- "What's up, Doc?"
- "Of course you realize, This Means War!!"
- "I knew I shoulda taken that left turn at Albuquerque..." (pronounced "Alba-coy-key")
- "What's cooking?"
- "Ain't I a stinka?"
- "What a maroon."
- Catch That Pigeon: Bugs and Elmer Fudd, Tasmanian Devil and numerous others.
- Cavalier Consumption: Bugs often does this, as a possible holdover from his days as a Screwy Squirrel. When asking "Eh... What's up, Doc?", he's often feigning caring, and is even asking and talking while chewing.
- Cement Shoes: Mobsters Mugsy and Rocky try this on Bugs in "The Unmentionables".
- Chained to a Railway: Including one notable instance in which Elmer Fudd is tied to the tracks, and the "Super Chief" (namechecking a famous passenger train of the time) runs right over him — a long line of little bunnies following Bugs, who's wearing a feathered headdress.
- Characterization Marches On: To the point where people don't even like to look at his prototype as the same character.
- Civilized Animal: Although his behavior is entirely human, he still lives in a burrow and has to worry about being hunted or eaten. There was an odd situation in the cartoon "Hare Splitter" where Bugs and his rival live in furnished burrows and wear only their fur, while their contested girlfriend lives in a frame house and is fully dressed.
- Clip Show: "His Hare-Raising Tale", "Devil's Feud Cake", "Hare-abian Nights"
- Not to mention a whole bunch of TV specials and feature films.
- Close-Call Haircut: Played with, along with every other gun cliche known to man, in most of the Yosemite Sam shorts. Bugs once used a trick shot on Sam that not only parted Sam's hair, but split his hat as well.
- Elmer once did this to Bugs' ears.
- Closet Shuffle: Bugs does this in "Racketeer Rabbit." Virtually duplicated in "Bugs and Thugs" with Rocky and Muggsy, once as a prank and once for real.
- Cloudcuckoolander: While Bugs was almost always more intelligent than his foes, he was far from lucid in most of his early appearances. This was tamed as his character evolved, though still makes the odd showing here and there.
- Comedic Sociopathy: He occasionally tips over into this.
- Cornered Rattlesnake: Made an increasingly pivotal part of his character, particularly in the Chuck Jones shorts. Bugs was not allowed to heckle opponents unless they provoked or harassed him, then it was war.
- Crashing Through the Harem: Happens in the Bugs Bunny episode "A-Lad-In His Lamp".
Bugs: (Rushes into a room, screams are heard, he rushes out and closes the door) Err, um... a Hare-em, I think.
Genie: (opens the door and looks in, to more screams) Oh, that was a harem all right. I know a harem when I see one.
- Cry Laughing: In the short "Knighty Knight Bugs", Bugs does this after the king tells him to retrieve the singing sword from Sam or else he [the king] will have to cut off Bugs' head.
- The Dark Age of Animation
- David Versus Goliath: Especially true of Chuck Jones' Bugs, who has taken on bulls ("Bully for Bugs") and professional wrestlers ("Bunny Hugged")
- Deadpan Snarker: Arguably the most famous and iconic Deadpan Snarker in western animation.
- Depending On The Animator: In the late forties it was easy to tell who had directed which Bugs cartoon just by looking at Bugs's design. Friz Freleng used the design which we all know and love today, Chuck Jones had a slightly different version with larger eyes, larger cheeks and more pointy teeth, and Robert McKimson (plus, for his sole Bugs Bunny outing, Arthur Davis) had a majorly different version with stubbier legs, a slight pot belly, more slanted eyes, long teeth, and a huge mouth that flapped around like a windsock whenever he talked. At the end of the decade, the differences became a lot less pronounced.
- Some artists would even play this up for comedic effect. Picking out Rod Scribner's and Robert McKimson's animation of Bugs in a Bob Clampett cartoon is considered almost the entry level for identifying Golden Age artists' styles.
- Deus ex Machina: A hilarious one in "Rabbit Punch". The Crusher has tied Bugs to a train track—in a boxing ring, mind you—then boards a locomotive and proceeds to speed towards Bugs. The scene makes it clear it's passed the Despair Event Horizon, with The Crusher's Slasher Smile and Bugs' genuinely worried expressions. What could possibly save him? Cue the film strip of the cartoon eventually breaking, showing Bugs in a White Void Room, revealing that he cut the film with scissors, thereby ending (or, rather, non-ending) the cartoon.
- "Hare Trigger" ends in this manner as well.
- Doorstop Baby: "Baby Face" Finster invokes this as a ploy to use Bugs' rabbit hole as a hideout.
- Duck Season, Rabbit Season: Co-Trope Namer; refers to a series of cartoons in which Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck argue over what hunting season it is.
- Early Installment Weirdness: The early shorts are very strange to watch if you're familiar with the Bugs from the late 40's and onward—one must understand that in his infant years, the directors stumbled across Bugs entirely by accident in A Wild Hare, and didn't quite "get" what made Bugs such a hit at first. and this is supported by the early batch of post-Wild Hare shorts like "Elmer's Pet Rabbit", "Tortoise Beats Hare" and "Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt". It wasn't until "The Heckling Hare" and "All This and Rabbit Stew" when they started to get a clue as to what Bugs was about, and even then Chuck Jones still took a while to fully understand Bugs' character.
- This is because Bugs, like many other Golden Age cartoon characters, wasn't created fully conceived but instead evolved through numerous cartoons. His early prototype was based on the then popular Screwy Squirrel-type wacky character, which Daffy also began life as (and still has his moments) before settling into his more known sarcastic and self-centered persona. It was Bugs' glib attitude in A Wild Hare that set him apart from other cartoons in the era.
- Meet Your Early Installment Weirdness: One later drawing of Bugs by Chuck Jones (which can be found in one of his biographies) has Bugs reacting in horror at the sight of a picture of "Bugs' Bunny", his alleged prototype, from "Hare-Um Scare-Um".
- Evil Versus Evil: Bugs Bunny vs turtle, Both are cheats.
- Fast Tunnelling
- Faux Affably Evil: On rare occasions, early on at least. The later enterpretations, while still occasionally morally ambiguous, never quite reach this level.
- Final Words; Averted so deliciously, as Bugs would utter the "Oooh, I'm dying! Everything's getting dark ... " speech to make Elmer Fudd or someone think he's been shot, poisoned, etc. ... just before "miraculously recovering" to give his foe a swift kick in the ass!
- Enforced in a parody that aired on Family Guy. Only this time, Elmer Fudd just stood by stoically while Bugs did his "ooh, I'm dying" act, until the bunny really did die!
- Four-Fingered Hands
- Flanderization: Bugs was initially a far wackier and egotistical protagonist, however his suave cunning demenor was exagerrated to such a point he is regarded as one of animation's prime Invincible Heroes. As Chuck Jones once emphasized, Bugs is meant to be everything Daffy Duck isn't.
- Yosemite Sam was actually created to combat this. After a few cartoons, it rapidly became apparent that Bugs Bunny could think circles around Elmer Fudd so thoroughly that, even when Elmer was clearly the antagonist, Bugs still looked like the bully. So they created Sam to give Bugs an opponent who was smart enough (or at least belligerent enough) to give Bugs a challenge and keep him from Flanderizing into a villain. After a while, even Sam had become ineffective, and so both Marvin The Martian and the Tazmanian Devil were introduced to bring in a fresh new threat (proving slightly more effective).
- Ironically, Daffy ended up being the perfect foil for Bugs in this regard, as he was far, far more egocentric and sometimes an outright ass compared to Bugs. The two are currently roomates in an Odd Couple type situation on The Looney Tunes Show, and though more or less 'friends' now, these two still have ego clashes due to Daffy still being more of a dick than Bugs has ever been. It's part of why fans love seeing them onscreen together. They just work in this regard. The fact that Daffy actually became flanderized to points unheard of long before this didn't hurt, as it helped keep it from happening to Bugs.
- According to Robert McKimson, Jones' Flanderization eventually became a problem with the staff, making him so reserved and impenetrable they noticed he was starting to lack much of a sympathetic personality. As such some of his last cartoons actually try to dial him back a small degree, making him a bit more hyperactive and abrasive again.
- The Fool: Even when he isn't using pure wit to defeat an adversary, he seems to have lady luck (and the villains' bumbling) on his side. Lampshaded in "Hare and Loathing Las Vegas"; he has his own pair of lucky rabbit's feet.
- Friendly Enemy: Whenever they aren't after his blood in some manner, Bugs tends to be rather easy going and sometimes out and out charitable to his foes. Granted the fact they are often Animated Actors plays a lot into this.
- Genre Savvy: Bugs Bunny shows this from time to time, such as in "Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips" where Bugs can be found floating in a box within the beginning of the story singing to himself to bide time as he waits for "the island that inevitably turns up in this kind of picture" to show up (as he explains to the audience).
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: In "Lumber Jack-Rabbit", Bugs Bunny sings the first four verses of "Jimmy Crack Corn", which is about a slave being happy that his master got killed by an out-of-control horse that got bitten by a "blue-tail fly". How the episode development team got all four of these verses past the censors in a cartoon even for children is beyond us.
- In "What's Cookin' Doc?", Bugs decides to show a clip of one of his past performances to show he deserves the Academy Award - except the first clip they show is a "stag reel" (what they called porn back then), and he has to shut it off. All they show is a picture of a stag with exotic music playing in the background, but still.
- Go-Karting with Bowser : Taken to extremes. Bugs often had a very forgiving demeanor to the many individuals that tried to con, maim or even kill him so often.
- Why take things personally when it's all part of the show?
- The Golden Age of Animation
- Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: A Looney Tunes staple that was lampshaded in "High-Diving Hare", wherein Yosemite Sam ties him up, quick-marches him up onto a high-diving platform and out to the end of the board, then saws off the board in order to force Bugs to go through with his diving act... only for the diving platform to suddenly collapse and bring Sam down with it, while the diving board itself hangs in midair. "I know this defies the law of gravity... but I never studied law!"
- Also done in "A Star is Born", when Daffy saws off the limb of a fake tree trunk. Bugs was sitting on said limb. Unfortunately for Daffy, the only part being held by invisible strings is said limb. The tree instantly falls over.
- Let's not forget "The Heckling Hare", which has Bugs and his antagonist Willoughby the dog falling off a cliff for a very long time. Averted at the end when they skid to a stop before hitting the ground.
- In "Falling Hare", the bomber that Bugs and the gremlin are in goes into a steep dive, during which the wings tear off, but it stops in midair right before hitting the ground:
- Guile Hero: He uses tricks instead of force or Science to triumph
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: If Bugs has ever worn pants, I'll eat my hat.
- Get that hat ready, because he has worn pants—well, overalls, anyways. And a shirt and hat, too.
- He's worn plenty of skirts and dresses, though.
- Mrs. Bugs (as revealed in the short "Hold the Lion, Please") wears the pants in the family anyway...
- He doesn't wear shoes often, either.
- Happy Harlequin Hat: Wears on in "Knighty Knight Bugs."
- The Hero: Usually, depending on the prominance of the villains however he is sometimes a Hero Antagonist.
- Hero Antagonist: Some of his later shorts tended to focus more on his enemies (like Daffy) plotting ways to get back at him, to the point his iconic logo at the start of each short can be rather misleading to who you'll be watching for the next five minutes.
- His and Hers: In Hare-Way to the Stars, Bugs has a pair of towels labeled "His" and "Hares".
- Human Mail: Bugs once mailed himself to Washington, DC.
- Hypocritical Humor: "What a maroon! What an ignoranimus!"
- Also, at the end of "Operation Rabbit," a defeated Wile E. Coyote surrenders by telling Bugs that his "name is mud." Bugs' retort? "Mud spelled backwards is dumb!"
- Iconic Sequel Character: He didn't appear until almost a decade into the Looney Tunes series run.
- Incessant Music Madness: "Long-Haired Hare" begins with Bugs playing various instruments (a banjo, a harp and a tuba) and singing while an opera singer is trying to rehearse, leading the opera singer to smash Bugs' instruments and beat him up.
- Invincible Hero: Leaned into this more and more in later shorts (though granted most of the Rogues Gallery didn't exactly pose much of a challenge anyway). Arguably balanced by the occasional loss here and there, with Bugs even playing the Butt Monkey at times (he actually did lose much more frequently compared the other Looney Tunes protagonists such as Tweety Pie or Speedy Gonzales).
- Jerkass Ball: The odd time Bugs' winning streak ended was karmically provoked by an unusual bout of callousness from the usually easy going rabbit.
- In a few of his earlier shorts, he played the Jerkass trope straighter than elsewhere.
- Karma Houdini: In Buckaroo Bugs, Bugs is the villain of the piece, a western outlaw named "The Masked Marauder", who steals carrots and humiliates the wimp of a cowboy sent to bring him in. While Bugs was the antagonist once or twice, he never again "got away with it" like he does here. (See next entry)
- Karmic Trickster: The writers actually had a set of rules they always followed when writing Bugs Bunny cartoons to make sure Bugs didn't become an out-and-out bully. For starters, Bugs himself never started fights; he could retaliate all he wanted, but he never antagonized. On occasions when he did dole out punishments his victim didn't deserve, things would start going wrong for him. Best example would be "Rebel Rabbit" where Bugs is incensed that the bounty on rabbits is mere pennies, and sets out to prove that Rabbits aren't harmless by wrecking the country in funny ways. (Sawing off the state of Florida, filling in the Grand Canyon, literally tying up the railroads) In the end, he's hunted down by the armed forces and put in Alcatraz Prison, where he concludes that maybe he "went a little too far".
- Knight of Cerebus: Many Warner directors, particularly Friz Freleng, were bent on making a more challenging Rogues Gallery for Bugs, fearing that earlier, more docile foes such as Elmer Fudd failed to provoke him and leaned his characterization more into that of a smarmy bully. Yosemite Sam was the first attempt at this, being ineffectual, but far more violent, relentless and conniving than Elmer, and often playing on Bugs' more altruistic image. When Sam started to lose his edge, Chuck Jones created Marvin the Martian, contrasting Sam by being affable and polite, but actually competent and dangerous enough to evoke fear from Bugs.
- Large Ham Title: In the Bugs Bunny shorts (though not in Roadrunner), Wile E. Coyote introduces himself as; "Wile E. Coyote, super genius!"
- Let's Get Dangerous: When Bugs says, "Of course you realize this means war!", you can be sure that whoever provoked him this way will soon be entering a world of hurt.
- Looney Tunes In The Thirties: Late 30's, if you count the proto-Bugs appearances.
- Looney Tunes In The Forties: Bugs' golden years.
- Looney Tunes in the Fifties
- Looney Tunes In The Sixties
- Looney Tunes In The Seventies And Onward
- Lost in Imitation: Bugs' carrot-eating was intended as a Shout-Out to Clark Gable in It Happened One Night. Unfortunately, carrots became the default food of all rabbits, fictional and real, with disastrous real-life consequences (carrots are lethal to real-life rabbits in large amounts).
- Lucky Rabbit's Foot: Referenced several times.
- Magic Poker Equation: Most humorously in "Barbary Coast Bunny" where Bugs walks into a crooked casino where all the games are rigged, and still cleans the place out.
- Also in "Bonanza Bunny," where he plays 21 with Blacque Jacques Shellaque and holds on only one card. Blacque Jacques draws two tens of Spades for a 20, but Bugs' single card is a '21' of Hearts.
- Bugs does something similar to this in "Hare and Loathing in Las Vegas", where when playing blackjack against Yosemite Sam, Sam as dealer gets a twenty with two cards and Bugs reveals that he has 21 aces. In fact the whole short seems to be based on this trope.
- Malaproper: Sometimes combined with Delusions of Eloquence.
- Meaningful Name: Most everyone who meets the rabbit thinks he's extremely annoying.
- Medium Shift Gag:
- The punchline of "Rabbit Hood" is that Robin Hood has been MIA for most of the film, and when he finally appears, it's live-action footage of Errol Flynn from The Adventures of Robin Hood. A dumbfounded Bugs comments, "That's silly, it couldn't be him!"
- "Invasion of the Bunny Snatchers" uses this to a disturbing effect.
- The Millennium Age of Animation
- Multiple-Choice Past: Variously described as being from Manhattan (in shorts like "A Hare Grows in Manhattan") and Brooklyn, though his accent is a Flatbush accent.
- Negative Continuity: As with all the other Looney Tunes, each Bugs short starts off fresh. The sole exception to this, and probably all the old shorts in general, is Tortoise Wins By A Hare, which directly references it's predecessor, "Tortoise Beats Hare", by having Bugs watch the actual cartoon on a home movie projector, but due to some plot details being ignored (such as that Cecil blatantly cheated in the first race, something Bugs has seemingly forgotten) it probably falls under Broad Strokes as well.
- No Fourth Wall: Bugs often spoke directly to the audience, usually to make a smart-aleck comment about whatever was happening at that moment.
- No Sense of Direction: He always misses that left turn in Alburquerque.
- Nothing but Skin and Bones: He has been known to show skinnier frames under his skin to try to deter those who wish to eat him.
- Not So Invincible After All: The writers had a field day with these. While usually making it through each short with hardly a hair out of place, every now and then Bugs' luck would run out and he would be made the Butt Monkey to another, usually underestimated foe.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: In an old comic, he reveals that his real name is George Washington Bunny.
- Out of Focus: Despite being Warner Bros.' biggest star, Bugs vanished after 1964's "False Hare". That is, until he returned in 1979's "Bugs Bunny’s Christmas Carol". Since then, he's appeared in several of the sporadically released post-1969 shorts.
- Packed Hero: Used multiple times; see the trope page for details.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: His enemies will only realize it's him when they see his tail or ears, having not noticed Bugs' fur or little bunny nose.
- Parody Magic Spell: Used in "Transylvania 6-5000". Bugs starts reading a book about magic words that contain the words "Abracadabra" and "Hocus Pocus." Unbeknownst to him (at first, anyway), "Abracadabra" turns the vampire into a bat, and "Hocus Pocus" turns him back into a person. He starts singing the words in a song, transforming the vampire back and forth (Hilarity Ensues)... then starts mixing them up in the song, "Abraca-Pocus" and "Hocus-cadabra", making half the vampire transform, i.e. a human body with a bat's head, then a bat's body and human head. Then he throws out, "Newport News!" which changes the vampire into an ugly witch, and finally, "Walla Walla Washington!" which turns him into a two-headed vulture.
- Point That Somewhere Else: Bugs often does this in his encounters with Elmer.
- Polka Dot Paint: In "Easter Yeggs", Bugs paints Elmer's head blue with yellow polka dots in two strokes.
- Pop-Cultural Osmosis: Some people would be surprised to know that Bugs and Elmer only shared 35 pictures out of Bugs' 168 shorts.
- Projectile Toast: Bugs himself lampshaded this in "To Hare is Human" (when Wile E. Coyote attempted to replace the carrots in his toaster with grenades): "One of these days, I'm gonna hafta have that spring fixed."
- Pro Wrestling Episode: Bunny Hugged
- The Protagonist: The iconic main star of the Looney Tunes franchise.
- Public Domain Animation: A handful of his cartoons have slipped into the Public Domain.
- Pun-Based Title: The writers for Looney Tunes must have used every 'hare' pun possible while thinking up titles for Bugs Bunny shorts.
- Rascally Rabbit: 'Scuse us, that's "Wascawwy Wabbit!" Bugs constantly uses his trickster tactics to outwit and harass everyone. In the early days he was something of a Screwy Squirrel and would just prank others for his own amusement. Over the years he became more of a Karmic Trickster and only went after those who struck first.
- Reaching Between the Lines
- Real Award, Fictional Character:
- In the 1944 short "What's Cookin' Doc?", Bugs believes he's a shoo-in for Best Actor at the Oscars, but James Cagney wins it instead, causing Bugs to have a meltdown. He ends up getting a Booby Prize Oscar, shaped like him.
- Bugs is awarded a Nobel Prize in The Looney Tunes Show episode "The Shelf." Subverted when this genius bunny succeeds in demolishing his entire house while building a shelf to display his award.
- Bugs argues with the humorless Kate Houghton during Looney Tunes: Back in Action about rehiring Daffy Duck, and bolsters his argument with four Oscar statuettes and a chunk of granite with his Walk of Fame star on it. For the record, four Warner Brothers cartoons have won an Oscar, but only one went to a Bugs Bunny cartoon: "Knighty Knight Bugs." Bugs Bunny also has an actual star on the Walk of Fame.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Daffy's red.
- The Renaissance Age of Animation
- Roger Rabbit Effect: His appearances in My Dream Is Yours, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Space Jam and Looney Tunes: Back in Action
- Rogues Gallery: Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam, Tasmanian Devil, and occasionally Marvin the Martian, Wile E. Coyote and Daffy Duck (depending on the mood).
- Rule of Three: Generally, to keep Bugs from appearing like a bully, he only reacts after the antagonist does three knocks against him. After that, "of course you realize, This Means War!!"
- Screwy Squirrel: His initial appearances.
- Semper Fi: Bugs served in the Corps from 1943-1945. No, really.
- Siege Engines: in "Knighty Knight Bugs", the Black Knight (Yosemite Sam) uses a catapult to try to launch himself into a castle window.
- Sore Loser: The lesser-seen aspect of his personality; during the rare moments where Bugs is on the losing side of things, he does not take it well. See the trilogy of his shorts with Cecil Turtle, and Rabbit Rampage.
- Straight Man: Becomes this to Daffy Duck in The Looney Tunes Show.
- Species Surname
- Street Smart
- Super Not-Drowning Skills: Bugs can apparently breathe underwater, since almost all of "Hare Ribbin'" (save the opening) is set underwater!
- Take-That Kiss: One of his trademarks, especially towards Elmer.
- Talking Animal
- Temporarily a Villain: Whenever he's a Villain Protagonist.
- Through a Face Full of Fur: Notably in "Falling Hare."
- Tim Taylor Technology: Wile E.'s massive computer in "To Hare Is Human" has all the answers for catching a rabbit, but none of them work. Except for the last when the boulder end of a booby trap is descending upon him:
Wile E.: (panickly pressing buttons) Rock...falling...what'll...I...do??
Computer read-out: Go back and take your medicine. (Wile E. goes back and lets the boulder fall on him)
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Bugs is a huge jerkass in the shorts featuring Cecil Turtle and this causes him to lose Karmic Protection.
- Not to mention "Buckaroo Bugs".
- The Trickster: Obviously.
- Tunnel King
- Unsportsmanlike Gloating: Sadly, Bugs has been known to sink to this level on occasion.
- Villain Protagonist: Bugs was generally a defensive character, but there have been several episodes where he became this, especially in his early years. But barring a handful of exceptions, Bugs was never portrayed as malicious, but as a practical joker who knows its all an act, and is just rolling along with the situation.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Bugs and Daffy.
- Vocal Evolution: His voice is lower and his accent is thicker in his earliest shorts.
- Wartime Cartoon: Several, some good, some forgettable propaganda.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: Bugs speaks with a peculiar mixture of a Brooklyn/Bronx accent. (Mel Blanc also said his inspiration was Frank Mc Hugh, who spoke in a New York Irish accent).
- White Gloves
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Many, many times. And his enemies always develop a crush on him.
- With Friends Like These...: With Daffy. In some shorts he outright ascends to a villain for Bugs.
- Worm Sign: It often happens when he travels under ground.
- Wrong Turn at Albuquerque: Trope Namer.
- You Say Tomato: Bugs Bunny is fond of odd pronunciations. "Maroon" for "moron" is perhaps the best known. Part of it is his accent, but much of it seems to be affectation.
- Bugs does use "moron" in Tortoise Beats Hare. He was also known to mangle the word "imbecile" (which he pronounces as "im-BES-sel").
- Bugs also has trouble saying Aluminum, either calling it Alu-mini-um or extending it to Aluminumminumminum.
- This is a subversion in itself, as "Aluminium" is the standard spelling AND pronunciation in many European countries.
- You Wouldn't Hit a Guy with Glasses?: In "Hare Splitter".
- And "Transylvania 6-5000"